Nature Writing Classes
In partnership with The Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy
Session 1: Eco-poetry as Healing Art, Tuesdays, May 25, June 1, 10 – 11:30AM
Session 2: Blue Iris: from Mary Oliver and the Art of Observation Series, Fridays June 11, 18, 12 – 1:30PM
Session 1- Eco-poetry as Healing Art
“The Great Work, based on the story of life’s unfolding, moves us away from a preoccupation with the self into the larger ecological self of the Earth Community. This movement has deep implications for our psychological healing, awakening in us a sense of both awe and belonging.” – K. Lauren de Boer, “Healing and the Great Work,” from Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind.
For this two-part class we will use the quote above as inspiration to consider ways of finding spiritual practice in the process of understanding and writing eco-centric poetry. An eco-spiritual practice will often have to do with experiencing the natural world first-hand, observing it in relation to self, and then creating as a natural act in itself that allows us to restore our connection to place, self, the earth. We will supplement our reading with Trebbe Johnson’s Radical Joy for Hard Times.
Session 2- Blue Iris: from Mary Oliver and the Art of Observation Series
Let’s continue our discussion of Mary Oliver poetry out on the Pheasant Branch Trail! Blue Iris is a special selection of poetry and “essays on the beauty and wonder of plants. The poet considers roses, of course, as well as poppies and peonies; lillies and morning glories; the thick-bodied black oak and the fragrant white pine; the tall sunflowers and the slender bean.” For the first class, we will primarily work through Blue Iris selections and discuss themes; for the second, please bring your own poem or favorite from collection to read.
A common reading will be sent out before each session.
Workshops will meet in person at the Dane County Parking lot: 4864 Pheasant Branch Road
If regulations for outdoor gatherings change, a Zoom link will be sent out two days before the class.